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Trust Issues: Examining Declining Confidence in Political Institutions

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Trust is a keystone of institutions, but that keystone is increasingly weak. Across nearly all institutions—government, business, media, religion—trust is at an all-time low, with no shortage of polls showing the continuing decline.

According to Pew Research Center, only 21% of Americans recently said they trust the government in Washington to do what is right “just about always” or “most of the time.” Can these trends be reversed or are our democratic institutions stuck cursing the storm?

Join the Bipartisan Policy Center and the National Capital Area Political Science Association for a conversation with experts investigating the causes and consequences of declining trust in society, as well as prospects for restoring this essential element of national strength.



  • Michael Thorning | Director of Structural Democracy, BPC

Panel Discussion


  • Hollie Russon Gilman | Senior Fellow, Political Reform Program, New America & Affiliate Fellow, Harvard Ash Center
  • Carl Levan | Professor, School of International Service, American University
  • Yuval Levin | Director of Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies, American Enterprise Institute
  • Nadzeya Shutava | Research Manager, Partnership for Public Service
  • Jordan Tama | President, National Capital Area Political Science Association (Moderator)

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